Sea Star Beachwear is thrilled to announce its support of and collaboration with Ocean Sole. The Kenya-based organization focuses on ocean conservation, collecting devastating flip-flop pollution from the coastal beaches and transforming it into art. Sea Star Beachwear is proud to become a “Sole Mate,” helping Ocean Sole protect fragile marine ecosystems and species while creating sustainable business and livelihood opportunities in the most under-served communities Kenya.
In support of Ocean Sole’s partnership with Ocean Mamas – a grassroots group of passionate, ocean-loving women at the Kenyan coast who organize frequent beach clean ups and educational seminars for women and youth – Sea Star Beachwear has donated over 150 pairs of its classic Beachcomber Espadrilles to protect the volunteers’ feet from the mangroves, coral, debris, and hot sand while cleaning the beaches.
For over 3 billion people worldwide, flip-flops are the only shoes they own. These flip-flops are ultimately discarded into urban dumpsites that seep into the earth’s waterways, blocking clean water pipes, sewage facilities, and ultimately descending into the oceans en mass, causing pollution dangerous to both marine and human life.
Ocean Sole up-cycles these discarded flip-flops and more – over 100,000 pounds per year – into colorful sculptures and works of art hand-crafted by local artisans. Sea Star Beachwear will carry the Bahari Collection, or Sea in Swahili, on SeaStarBeachwear.com launching on June 8th to celebrate World Oceans Day. Bringing attention to the ocean’s most endangered species, the Bahari Collection includes a blue whale, tropical reef fish, dolphin, octopus, and other precious sea creatures. Retailing for $45 each, 100% of the proceeds will be donated back to Ocean Sole.
To round out our partnership, Sea Star Beachwear and Ocean Sole will collaborate on an exclusive capsule collection for the Summer 2019 season. The espadrille-style water shoes are a long-lasting and sustainable alternative to flip-flops.
“We are delighted to partner with Ocean Sole, a wonderful organization keeping the oceans we love to swim in clean and safe, all while empowering women and creating beautiful works of art” said Sea Star Beachwear co-founder and CEO Libby Fitzgerald. Added co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Michael Leva, “We really admire the work Ocean Sole is doing both in their local community and for the world’s oceans at large, and we’re thrilled to be a part of their efforts.”
“Sea Star Beachwear is the perfect Sole Mate for Ocean Sole,” said Ocean Sole Chief Sole Mate Erin Smith. “Our joint alignment on the plight of the oceans, yet bringing sustainable and creative solutions like art and shoes to market so consumers can participate in a like-minded community through our products and projects is essential in grass-roots efforts. The energy and commitment of the Sea Star team has allowed us to accelerate our women empowerment programs whilst bringing functional fashionable shoes to a much needed demographic of ‘do-good’ passionate women. They are so excited to wear them and nothing brings joy to us then seeing women proudly clean beaches for the health of our marine life and their children.”
About Ocean Sole:
Being passionate about finding innovative and resourceful ways to protect marine ecosystems and species, while creating sustainable business and livelihood opportunities in low-income communities. Ocean Sole partners with other conservation partners or individuals, to collect used flip-flops that fill our lands fills, block our waterways and cause havoc in our ocean and on our beaches. These collected flip-flops are then made into beautiful works of art. By cleaning the earth, we are flipping the unknown flip-flop problem one piece of art at a time and you can support us by purchasing one of our amazing sculptures!
To learn more about Ocean Sole, or to make a contribution, please visit www.oceansole.co.ke.